June 29, 2010 |
The gushing BP oil well is a mystery still unfolding, and late last month, a team of scientists from the Energy Department discovered a new twist: Their sophisticated imaging equipment detected not one but two drill pipes, side by side, inside the wreckage of the well's blowout preventer on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. BP officials said it was impossible. The Deepwater Horizon rig, which drilled the well, used a single pipe, connected in segments, to bore 13,000 feet below the ocean floor.
December 1, 1988 |
Texaco Inc. and a former employee have agreed to plead guilty to a two-count criminal charge of failing to conduct critical safety testing on an offshore oil platform in the Channel Islands area, Justice Department officials said Wednesday. The criminal complaint, filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, states that Texaco and a former drilling supervisor, Bobby R. Brogdin, 48, of Bakersfield, intentionally decided not to conduct weekly safety testing as required by federal law.
May 26, 2010 |
There were warning signs of a valve leak nearly five hours before the deadly gulf oil rig explosion, according to an internal BP investigation, which also found that a number of equipment and system failures may have caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP's preliminary inquiry raises questions about the cementing of the deep-sea oil well and the blowout preventer that failed, members of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations were told Tuesday. The BP investigation identifies "new warning signs of problems" before the explosion, including "whether proper procedures were followed for critical activities throughout the day," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills)
May 12, 2010 |
Workers leaped eight stories into the sea as flames engulfed the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, according to gripping testimony Tuesday during a federal hearing into last month's Gulf of Mexico disaster. The testimony in a crowded ballroom here painted a picture of chaos mixed with heroism in the aftermath of an explosion of natural gas. Nearby ships raced to the scene unfolding 50 miles offshore as the crew of a solitary supply boat plucked survivors from burning water, witnesses said.
August 14, 2010 |
Although BP's troubled well in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be plugged from the top and bottom, the federal spill commander said Friday that government and company officials have agreed that a relief well should be completed to ensure a permanent seal. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen raised the possibility Thursday that last week's "static kill" operation, in which the well's inner casing was jammed with cement, might have made that final step unnecessary. A four-hour pressure test was conducted to determine whether oil was still flowing freely from a deep reservoir into the outer ring of the well bore.
May 12, 2010 |
A UC Berkeley professor who is conducting an informal assessment of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead blast said Tuesday that BP documents leaked to him indicate that contaminants in cement encasing the well were the initial cause of the explosion that led to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Bea, a UC Berkeley professor who directs the school's Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, said the flaw led to natural gas shooting up a riser pipe from the wellhead to the rig above, where it exploded.
November 17, 2010 |
Failure to manage the risks of a complex well and to learn from an earlier narrowly missed disaster contributed significantly to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a panel investigating the BP oil spill said Wednesday. "Numerous decisions" to continue operations despite repeated warnings of problems "suggest an insufficient consideration of risk and a lack of operating discipline," according to a report issued by a committee at the National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council, which was convened at the request of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
December 9, 1998 |
One of the biggest natural gas fires in California history went out on its own Tuesday morning after water began seeping into the gas, creating a mixture that was no longer combustible, authorities said. "Water began seeping into the well, which happens all the time in oil fields," said Deputy Chief Steve Gage of the Kern County Fire Department, which has been monitoring the Lost Hills blaze that burned for more than two weeks. The well fire had been expected to burn for several months.
September 14, 2010 |
Crews began drilling through the remaining 50 feet of rock Monday afternoon to complete the final "bottom kill" plug of BP's troubled Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Federal officials have said it should take about four days to drill the final stretch of the relief well so that it intersects with the original well. From there, it will probably take a few days to pump in mud and cement and perform tests to determine that the well is fully killed. The well spewed an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf before it was fitted with a temporary sealing cap in mid-July.
May 27, 2010 |
Reporting from Los Angeles and Robert, La. — In an intricate deep-sea operation that was watched as closely and nervously as a high-profile space launch, BP on Wednesday set in motion a crucial effort to stop the flow of crude that for more than a month has fed one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history. But hours into the "top kill" procedure, BP executives were not ready to declare victory. "We will not be rushed. It's too early to know if it will be successful," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said Wednesday evening.